From the originals by Ariosto, Terence, Plautus, Boccaccio
Adapted by
Titino Carrara, Carlo Presotto
Director Marcello Bartoli
Assistant Director Mauro Maggioni
Set Design Mauro Zocchetta
Lights Sandro Dal PrÓ, Graziano Pretto
Costume Design Stefano Nicolao
Costumes Nicolao Atelier
Masks Donato Sartori
Music Stefano Dal Cortivo
Cast Annalisa Peserico, Federico Bertozzi, Armando Carrara, Argia Laurini, Marco Artusi, Titino Carrara, Stefania Pimazzoni

An unpublished "canovaccio" from the Correr Museum in Venice gives rise to this drama which goes back to its original sources (Ariosto’s The Suppositions, Terence’s The Eunuch, Plautus’ The Captives) and transports us into a Decameron-style climate where the characters’ moods are visceral and true, but not felt in an exasperated conceptuality.

This commedia dell’arte brings together the experience of the Carrara family and that of Marcello Bartoli, here as Director. Bartoli, among one of the most appreciated actors and directors whose repertoire includes the classics and the mask-characters of Commedia del’Arte and Ruzante, presently researches the all-consuming, bitter expressivity that alternates between comedy and cold clownery.

The scene opens at a party, an evening gathering, a costume game, where drunkenness overflows from the generous kegs brimming with wine that support an improvised stage. Mysterious dark, clouded figures pop out from trapdoors. Slowly we notice a shadow-like quality beginning to cover the characters’ masks, confusing and weaving them into a kind of macabre dance. It is within this climate that the comedy ushers us into a world where everything rotates around a dance of make-believe and loss of identity.

The "game" slowly becomes manifest though the character of Fabio Innamorato (Fabio-In-Love) who, to win his love, changes places with Zanni. Little by little, this "game" becomes more and more intrusive through specific episodes: when Tartaglia becomes unjustifiably jealous of his young wife; when the false wedding cannot take place because the bride has no dowry; and, moreover, through the alleged betrayal of Eolaria with an alleged Captain.

The foundations for the Doctor’s wedding are false.

The tax collectors are false.

The father who will have to bless his alleged son’s wedding is false.

Zanni’s funeral is false. He will even announce his own death.

Everything gets mixed up in a whirlpool of suppositions, finally to dock at the loss of collective identity, where each character appears to search for himself in the decadence of another’s pretence.

This is a game of masks in metamorphosis, a game of true and false that meet in a moment of specular distortion, a game of lines exchanged once contact with a reality almost completely camouflaged has been lost.

This is ancient commedia dell’arte, where masks seem to absorb some of the grotesque, dark colors that once belonged to the diabolical myths that generated it.

A production for the Fall 1998 Festival – Olympic Theater of Vicenza


VICENZA Cortile dei Proti September 7, 1998 9:00pm – Following performances September 8 and 9.